Hybrid Vans

Time to say hi to hybrid?

The news is buzzing with talk of electric vehicles. “But can they get the job done?” we all wonder.

Hybrid cross-overs appear to offer slightly more realistic hope of getting the heavy jobs done at the moment. That good old fashioned diesel or petrol engine reassuring the driver that there’s solid back-up if they need it. Like an outboard motor on a sail boat, in case the wind drops.

Yet there’s still that nagging doubt that it just won’t be man enough for the task.

Not so, says Ford. In fact, they’re now saying that hybrid vans are “the ideal solution”. But are they?

Well, there are two ways to find out: go and try one for yourself; or save time and read the latest issue of Fleet Matters where we’ve done the research for you.

Diesel/Petrol Ban

Are diesel and petrol days numbered?

Just when you were thinking the government’s proposed ban on the sale of diesel and petrol engine vehicles by 2040 wasn’t far enough away, the Committee on Climate Change proposes to bring that date forward.

By 10 years, to a not-very-distant-at-all 2030.

“But wait a moment,” you say. “Aren’t more than 90% of all commercial vehicles in the UK currently running on diesel? And aren’t most of the remainder running on petrol? And aren’t both types of engine now much cleaner??”

If you’re feeling alarmed, you’re not alone. But we’ve some reassuring news.

And it’s waiting for you in the latest issue of Fleet Matters, out now.

Grey Fleets

Grey fleets… are they worth the hassle?

For many businesses, “grey” fleets can seem appealing. Sure, they can save a lot of the time and bring down the cost of vehicle hire or purchase. But as any grey fleet manager knows, things are never as simple as they sound.

More often than not, grey fleets prove a much more time-consuming and costly option than you might initially imagine.

One of the biggest issues is control. That aspect is suddenly up to the employees, although you’ll ultimate remain responsible for it. Do you know many miles are they’re really clocking up? Are they properly insured? Is their vehicle properly serviced and maintained, or is it a liability about to fail?

How can you be sure, what can you do? Take a look at the latest issue of Fleet Matters. We’ve five tips and two essential actions that will answer your questions.

Driver Behaviour

Driver behaviour on lorry camera

We’ve all done it. Checked our messages on the motorway. Taken a call leaving one hand not free. Or been fiddling with our phone in some other way that perhaps caused us to drift dangerously towards the edge of the lane, or brake a little late.

Sure, we keep an eye out for patrol cars. But who’d have thought to keep an eye out for lorries?

Yet, since 2015, special modified HGVs known as “supercabs” have been roaming the main roads of Britain looking out for dangerous behaviour by drivers and then filming it from the elevated position of the cabs.

You can’t argue with video evidence like that. Or the 4000+ prosecutions that it’s led too since 2015.

Find out about these “supercabs” and more in the latest issue of Fleet Matters.

new drivers

IAM calls for introduction of graduated licences

IAM RoadSmart believes the introduction of Graduated Driving Licences is needed to improve road safety in the UK.

The body has responded to the publication of the latest road accident statistics, which show the number of serious injuries and deaths on UK roads are not being reduced.

Gradual introduction for new drivers

IAM RoadSmart director of policy and research Neil Greig said: “These figures underline the critical need to accelerate delivery of policies such a Graduated Driving Licences.

“The government road safety statement … highlights many of the issues but was very short on actions.”

Setting out the actions it believes would help to improve road safety for new drivers, IAM has called for:

  • A 12-month minimum learning period for all new drivers
  • Introduction of a ‘post’ or ‘second-stage test’ to provide a refresher to all motorists once they have been driving for a set period
  • Graduated licence controls that only allow certain driving behaviours after motorists have been driving for a year, such as limits on peer passengers/lower blood alcohol limit

It is hoped these measures would provide more sustained support for new drivers and give them a gradual introduction to driving after passing their test.

Ellie Baker, brand manager at Fuel Card Services, comments: “Reducing the number of road deaths each year is an enormous responsibility and the idea of graduated licences and the other measures from the IAM could help to improve new driver standards.”